Integration is key for successful enterprise Internet-of-Things applications

By: Veselin Pizurica | Date: 12 May 2015
3 mins read

In enterprise Internet-of-Things (IoT) discussions, there is a lot of emphasis on:

  • securely onboarding devices,
  • getting device data to the cloud in a scalable way and at an acceptable cost,
  • and remotely managing devices.

Those are indeed essential building blocks, but things should not stop there, as IoT is not an isolated system. In order to create business value, enterprise IoT solutions need to integrate with existing business processes, people and systems. IoT enables real-time decisions based on real-time data and can make these existing business processes more efficient and even create opportunities for new service based business models.

Monitoring the status, health and location of devices can be coupled to multi-channel alerts and notifications. Insights derived through analytics can be operationalized to improve business processes in real-time. Combination of IoT data with external data can lead to new business models and partnering opportunities. In this whole process, integration plays a key role.

In traditional enterprise application integration, application integration platforms validate, transform and sync data between applications, whether onsite or in the cloud. IoT has a similar need: two-way real-time communication between SW systems and devices. Providing an API for remote access to historical device data is not enough to accomplish that.

Therefore, Waylay has developed the next generation integration framework, dedicated to enterprise IoT. Waylay is a disruptive platform that provides real-time combination of data from devices, enterprise IT applications, online services and APIs.

Contrary to classical enterprise integration, the emphasis is on decision making based on time series processing and data correlation logic rather than data synchronization. The decisions taken by the Waylay platform lead to multi-channel alerts, workflow automation and accurate, cost-saving predictive maintenance.

Let’s illustrate this by means of a number of examples:

  • Enterprise integration where correlation of remote machine sensor readings with historical data leads to a creation of tickets in field service software systems, ready for field technician support.
  • Smart buildings where automation actions are triggered by satellite weather forecast available as an API service on the Internet.
  • Smart city traffic management that combines real-time sensor-based parking data with external traffic sources in order to give intelligent traffic recommendations.

I want to stress that the idea of integration here goes beyond the mashups seen in some other IoT platforms, where data from different sources is shown in a single dashboard. Here, i’m talking about API-driven, real-time, autonomous integration and automation.

The need for integration has also been noticed by analysts. They use the term Application Enablement Platforms, to refer to platforms that enable this integration. As Berg recently wrote “ Application enablement platforms (AEPs) are designed to accelerate and simplify the development of IoT solutions, providing common horizontal solution components that can be re-used across industries and market segments. AEPs enable companies to focus on differentiation created by unique capabilities and insights from data rather than duplicating non-differentiating functionality such as connectivity integration, device management, data collection, data storage and analytics. Application enablement platforms also provide integration frameworks adapted for common enterprise IT systems such as ERP, CRM and analytics.” FirstPartner recently classified Waylay as an example of an AEP, in their (free-to-download) M2M&IoT market map.

We often refer to Waylay as an iPaaS (integration Platform-as-a-Service) for IoT, it is an integration and automation platform that links IoT platforms to enterprise IT systems and online services. But whatever name is used for this emerging class of capabilities, it is clear that integration is key to the success of enterprise IoT.



Veselin Pizurica,
Veselin Pizurica is entrepreneur, CTO and founder at Waylay, a cloud software company that empowers enterprises and the public sector to benefit from the Internet-of-Things. Veselin is author and co-author of 12 patent applications in domain of DSL, home networks and cloud computing.
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